Yesterday two lovely saddle fitters were at my house to check the fit of my english saddles on Cash. I learned 2 things:
- Cash has an incredibly wide back! Comfy to ride but a bear to fit a saddle on.
- My saddles don’t fit.
Its a good thing I have a western saddle as a back up because my dressage and jumping saddles will soon be for sale so I can order one that fits my beastie!
Since Jack is still growing he will be ridden in a western saddle, for the most part, until he’s older and finishes widening out and is a wee bit more reliable in his work ethic. (free flying lessons are not appreciated) If he’s anything like his Uncle, he will be around the same width.
I always believe saddle fit is a very very big issue a lot of people overlook. It’s amazing how much Cash has changed since I started riding him. Granted some of Cash’s “wideness” right now is probably a bit of fat but since he was started under saddle he has gone from a narrow tree all the way to almost extra wide!
Horses change a lot when growing and even older horses have major muscular changes as they progress in training so it’s never a bad idea to have your saddle fit checked regularly! When issues start arising that seem to be out of the blue it is always a great idea to have a professional saddle fitter come out and evaluate your saddle. It might be too wide and putting pressure over the wrong area, the gullet might be to small and pinching the spine and many many other possibilities.
Having an ill fitting saddle is like trying to run with the wrong size shoes. At first its bearable but after a while it hurts so much you just have to stop and take them off.
Horses try to tell us this in many ways. The most notable is when a horse bucks but many times a horse will show saddle fit issues in a much more subtle way. He’ll be tense over his back and won’t relax into the work or He will get girth-y when tacking up. Lack of forward movement is also a big indicator somethings just not fitting right, especially if it used to not be an issue. White hair starting to grow in around the withers area is also very common.
Now granted these aren’t all they signs and symptoms of poor saddle fit but they are some of the bigger ones. It may cost a bit of money but it’s defiantly worth the cost to verify that your saddle isn’t the cause of your issues!
And since my saddles don’t fit any more guess I have a great excuse to go shopping! Muh hahahahahahahahahahahah!